SBC Expects Major Job Cuts If Licence Fee Is Reduced

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Español (es) SRS prevé importantes recortes de empleo si se reduce el canon

  • Pусский (ru) Общественным СМИ Швейцарии грозит потеря 900 рабочих мест
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    According to the SBC, the implementation of the counterproposal to the“CHF200 is enough!” initiative threatens to result in around 900 job losses by 2027.

    Around the same number of jobs would be lost at suppliers and other third-party companies, the SBC announced in Bern on Monday. The reduction in staff would affect all SBC locations, including the regional studios.

    + Swiss government wants to lower licence fee to CHF300

    The reduction in levies and other financial challenges would result in a funding gap of up to CHF240 million ($305 million) from 2027, the SBC wrote. According to the SBC, the funding gap is made up of several factors. From 2027, the reduction in levies would result in a loss of revenue totalling up to CHF100 million.

    In addition, the government has cancelled the SBC's cost-of-living adjustment since 2019, which will lead to a reduced contribution of up to CHF70 million from 2025. Due to the decline in advertising revenue, the SBC expects a further reduction of around CHF70 million by 2027.

    The SBC has a cost structure in which personnel costs account for around 50%. All reductions at the SBC would therefore be accompanied by a corresponding reduction in staff, according to the SBC. As a result, around 900 jobs at all SBC locations, suppliers and other third-party companies will be gradually cut by 2027. The SBC employs 6,957 people, as can be seen in the SBC Annual Report 2022. They share 5,580 full-time positions.

    + Empowering linguistic diversity in newsrooms

    Fears of impact on the programme

    According to the SBC, a reduction in staff would have drastic consequences for the programme and the fulfilment of the performance mandate would be jeopardised from 2025.

    Jean-Michel Cina, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the SBC, told Swiss public radio, SRF:“With the measures announced, we would no longer be able to fulfil the comprehensive performance mandate from 2027.”

    According to the SBC, the budget reduction would mean that many outside productions and broadcasts of events would no longer be possible. In addition to church services and music recordings in the cultural sector, world and European championships in sport would also be affected. In addition, the number of Swiss films and series as well as the radio and television research supported by the SBC would have to be reduced.

    In contrast, the SBC licence, which defines the performance mandate, will remain unchanged until 2028. Based on the licence, the SBC offers 17 radio and seven television channels in the four national languages as well as online offerings in four national languages and in six other languages for the international offering.

    SBC expects a 'no' to the initiative

    The SBC welcomes the government's decision to reject the halving initiative. However, it notes the unavoidable consequences with concern. The SBC continues to expect appropriate funding from the government for the existing performance mandate. It also assumes that the people will reject this initiative because it is far too radical and jeopardises the existence of the SBC.

    The government's counterproposal to the so-called“CHF200 is enough!” initiative presented by Communications Minister Albert Rösti on November 8 envisages a gradual reduction in household levies to CHF300 per person per year by 2029. In addition, companies should only be subject to the levy if their turnover exceeds CHF1.2 billion.

    This is not a counterproposal in the legal sense. This is because the government can implement the changes by ordinance.

    The SBC's position is supported by the Swiss Syndicate of Media Professionals (SSM). The SSM wrote in a press release on Monday that the Swiss media centre must be protected and not additionally and unnecessarily weakened. Numerous SBC employees are unionised in the SSM. The union is the SBC's most important social partner.

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